We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
30 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Hello New Hampshirere'rs, I'm hoping you can give me some great advice, I am traveling to New England starting at Boston, Newport up to Vermont then across to your lovely state. My dilemma is I am confused which town to stay/visit on my way back to Boston. Because I am unfamiliar with driving distances I am hoping someone can help me plan better. I do not like to drive for more than 3 hours at a time so I need some suggestions for quaint towns where I can stop for a day or two but are in travelling distance of about 2-3 hours from Woodstock Vermont which will be our previous stop. I had in mind Jackson but then am not sure I need another stop before getting down to Boston again. My trip will be in Oct 2011 and am hoping to catch peak foliage along the way. I am interested in antiques, covered bridges, quaint towns and beauty. Thanks so much!

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
28,021 posts
415 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

We did a fall trip in October 2009. The leaves were beautiful and we had nice weather. The area around Jackson and North Conway is excellent for being able to get some good food, nice lodging and shopping. We stayed in North Conway but Jackson is very nice also. While in the White Mts. be sure to drive the Kanc, go to Flume Gorge, and Mt. Washington. In Jackson area you find covered bridges. We came from the airport in Manchester, NH and it took us less than 3 hours to drive to the White Mts. Since this is peak time for fall be sure to make your reservations ASAP especially if you will be there on Columbus weekend. If you are there on Columbus weekend many hotels and inns have a 2 night minimum and the price will be much higher. We were there the first week of October. Enjoy your trip. The DE's on the forum are great and will give you lots of excellent info to help you plan your trip.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,082 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

I think boiled down you are asking you need to stop overnite between nc and Boston. It is 3- 31/2 hrs so leave that to you. Portsmouth is a great place to stop. But it is only an hr from there to Boston . Don't really have a great feel for your trip so difficult to be more specific .

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,082 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

I think boiled down you are asking you need to stop overnite between nc and Boston. It is 3- 31/2 hrs so leave that to you. Portsmouth is a great place to stop. But it is only an hr from there to Boston . Don't really have a great feel for your trip so difficult to be more specific .

Edited: 13 June 2010, 21:04
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
30 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Thankyou for your help - yes I am asking to see what the distances are to see if they are over 3 hours in between. Can anyone tell me how long it would take to get from Woodstock to Jackson, then from Jackson to North Conway? Perhaps this is all we need as over night stops for a couple of nights at each town. Then I can always stop for a break (stretch, coffee) at Portsmouth before reaching Boston at the end of my trip. I am planning for the first week in Oct but next year so will have advanced bookings for sure.

Where did you go on your trip CeCeDouglasville? Do you think I am going the right way considering I am looking for the beautiful leaves in the first week of Oct also?

I appreciate everyone's advice, I think you all do a fantastic job to help out fellow travellers!

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
28,021 posts
415 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Here is what we did last October-

Flew into Manchester, NH and drove to North Conway, NH

Spent 3 days driving the Kanc, Flume Gorge, short drive over to Vermont, Crawford Notch, Mt. Washington and Jackson/Berlin/Gorham area

Drove to Bar Harbor and Acadia NP and spent 2 days touring there

Drove down the coast to Bucksport and Penabscot Narrows Bridge then down hwy 1 to Mt. Battie SP, Camden and Rockland

Continued drive down the coast to Portland, Portland Headlights, Kennebunkport and Ogunquit and back to Manchester, NH

We had a wonderful time and the fall leaves were just beautiful. Hope you enjoy your trip. I think it is about a 3 hour drive from Woodstock to North Conway.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,689 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Dreams --

Woodstock VT to Jackson NH is about 2 hours 40 minutes -- well within your three hour window.....

Jackson NH to North Conway NH is about 15 minutes -- ....

When I saw your criteria of covered bridges, quaint towns and beauty, the first thought that crossed my mind was Jackson! It has its own covered bridge less than a half mile from the center of the village, a scenic river segment (rapids, small waterfalls, large rocks, etc. just outside the village (you could walk there from some lodging places if you don't mind a bit of uphill), the center of the village could be considered quaint, I guess, -- some older inns, good restaurants, small schoolhouse, nice deli, and much less chaotic than North Conway. Lots of great scenery nearby too --

I'd be tempted to spend an overnight in Jackson, with, as you suggest, a break in the greater Portsmouth area on your way to Boston.

If you stay in Jackson and take NH Rt 16 south to I-95 south to Boston (the shortest route between the two), you won't really get into Portsmouth proper -- it will be a mile or two behind you when you merge onto I-95 from NH Rt 16..... but you'll find other places to stretch, get a coffee, etc. as you come through Dover and other towns en route. Have only driven the Jackson to Logan Airport route once, but seem to remember that it took us just a shade over three hours. But traffic around Logan itself can vary, so I'd add a bit to that just to be on the safe side.

Salem, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
794 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Rte 16 traffic can be very heavy, especially on weekends. You might head off on Rte 302 east, go across the Sebago Lakes area of Maine and then plan on stopping in Kennebunkport or York Beach, ME for the night. Should be much less traffic. And if you are mid-week in October, you should be able to get an oceanfront room for a reasonable price.

Michelle

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
30 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Thankyou everyone so much, all of your tips are great and I will keep them in mind for my trip - my New Hampshire leg now seems to have some sense to it. Thanks also for the driving tip Michelle about heading off to Rte 302 east - I am a bit anxious in heavy traffic and as we will be driving on unfamiliar roads and on the other side, the less traffic the better. I enjoyed reading what you did CeCeDouglasville, and hope that we get the same leaf viewing as you did. Thanks also MainerOnTheGo on the route NH Rt 16 south to I-95 south to Boston, appreciate it greatly. I can feel it all finally coming together...now for the selection of beautiful B&B's...

Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
1,408 posts
230 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

Dreams64

I would totally agree with the tip on following route 302 east into Maine, and past the Sebago Lakes. It is a beautiful drive, taking you through charming little villages, at a slower pace than route 16. You will enjoy it. Would also recommend staying in Jackson NH. It is a a more peaceful setting than North Conway but still only a short drive away. However, there are wonderful B&Bs in North Conway as well.

North Conway, New...
Level Contributor
2 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Confused and needing help for my New Hampshire leg of trip

I live in North Conway, If you are traveling Oct 3-10th be aware that the Fryeburg Faire will generate a lot of traffic on the 302.. There is only a small 2 lane road near Fryeburg and it gets backed up with all the Leaf Peepers and the Fairgoers. You are correct in that most places need a 2 night stay from late Sept. to Mid October. The Kancamagus Highway loop from Jackson to the Flume, up over Twin Mountains and back by Mt Washington takes a nice 3-5 hour lovely ride. I tell people to take their time and stop a lot to take pictures all along that route. It is beautiful in the Fall. There are places to stop and eat along the way, Also there are many hiking trails through the forest, all level of trails from flat and short to hilly and strenuous. It takes me 3 hours to get to North Conway from Woodstock Vermont and Jackson is more Quaint then North Conway. There are more dining choices in North Conway though and it is a bit more economical. Normally Portsmouth is a 1 and 1/2 hour drive from North Conway, but duirng October it can take up to 3 hours if there is a lot of traffic, especitlly on Columbus day weekend